Visiting Hennepin Tech

Monday, October 14th, 2019

Only two days left until we leave Prior Lake and fly to Washington DC. I could not have imagined that this time would be over so fast.

Today we went to the Hennepin Technical College to get to know a possible way of studying in the USA. Rachel’s father Michael teaches at HTC and made this short-term field trip possible (thanks a lot, Michael!). This college can be compared to a training at a business college in Germany, because the students do not only get theoretical but also practical input.

When we arrived, director Kathy Wohler gave a brief overview of the courses and degrees offered at this college. She told us, for example, that it is the largest stand-alone technical college in Minnesota and that the students can choose between nine different HTC programs, like ‘nursing’ or ‘construction’. She also explained that the students have to pay a certain amount of college fees to be able to study there, however it’s still a lot cheaper than other colleges.

After dividing us into two groups, Kathy and a former student, called Olivier, showed us the different training rooms and we talked to some of the instructors. So, first we were shown some of the workshops, for example the rooms where different things like freezers or cabinets are being worked on.

In another course, students can learn to work with electricity or in yet another they receive medical training. In order to get the best training in medical assistance they go to a nursing lab and practice there with special dolls or machines. The last area we visited was an audio studio. It was interesting to see that you can learn so many different jobs in one college, whereas German colleges are more specialised.

When both groups got together again, Olivier and another man, who had also studied at the college, told us their story of how they came to the USA and how difficult it was to learn the new language and to get along in a new country. They made it, which is really impressive. This showed us that we can achieve anything we want, which I personally think is really inspriring. After this student panel we were invited to lunch (thanks for the yummy pizza, Kathy!) and went back to our school after that.

In the evening we had already planned to go to a bowling center with all exchange students.

Some of us met in a restaurant called “Baldy’s BBQ” at 5.30pm and were later joined for bowling. It was really fun to do something together as a group, which was the reason why we spent many hours there.

At 9 pm everyone went home to be prepared for our last day at Prior Lake High.

~Alexandra von Berg